Consumers flocked to Amazon to indulge in Prime Day deals and start their holiday shopping early this year – specifically, home office gadgets and home connected devices like smart assistants, tablets, doorbells and more. And overall, retail sales continue to grow to near pre-pandemic levels with electronics a big part of it as consumers stock their home office and arm their kids with devices now needed for virtual school.
But are consumers thinking about their “home cybersecurity?” With a 75% uptick in cybercrime, consumers should be wary of the security implications that come with purchasing a device, especially one that cybercriminals know many consumers will be purchasing.
“Over recent years, the explosive growth of IoT devices has increased vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. Consumers flocked to Amazon to indulge in Prime Day deals to start their holiday shopping early this year – specifically, home office gadgets and home connected devices like smart assistants, tablets, doorbells and more. As they connect their new devices, people need to carefully consider how they’ll secure them, especially because it’s not uncommon now to mix home and business needs in the current remote work environment. There are significant security implications that come with IoT devices, and IT departments may be left with little oversight of at-home security practices and configurations being used by workers, who may now be accessing enterprise networks via personal devices,” says Ashvin Kamaraju, VP, engineering, strategy & innovation at Thales.
According to Kamaraju, consumers should always follow the below tips to keep safe when shopping online:
1. Use a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using free Wi-Fi networks – which don’t have the necessary precautions in place – where possible.
2. Don’t click on any links sent via email or SMS. Rather type the URL of the website directly into your browser, or if on mobile, directly via the app
3. Activate the two-factor authentication services that some sites offer to enable an extra layer of security that ensures only you can access your accounts.
4. Make sure your software, operating system and security tools are all up to date with the latest patches which will protect your devices from vulnerabilities.
5. Only use devices and infrastructure that have strong security technologies, like encryption and two-factor authentication.